Letter sent from space station has Hong Kong student over the moon

By SHADOW LI in Hong Kong | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-08-09 09:46
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Astronaut Chen Dong talks to students in Hong Kong in a video. CHINA DAILY

Young people encouraged

The arrival of a letter from space was also a fitting tribute to mark the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland.

Recalling the joy of celebrating that return, the astronaut encouraged young Hong Kong people to follow their dreams and contribute to the development of their city and the country.

The reply has had a great impact on Chen Man-lin.

"I'll do as he advised in the letter; study harder and work out to stay healthy, remain curious about the universe and contribute to national aerospace development in the future," she told China Daily.

Sun, the secretary for innovation, technology and industry, encouraged students to contribute to national aerospace development by challenging themselves, better understanding national development and becoming more involved in technological innovation.

Jack Ng Wun-kit, principal of Pui Kiu Middle School, was among those feeling the encouragement from space.

He told China Daily that Hong Kong students do not have to become astronauts to contribute to the country's aerospace program, but that they can also contribute through Hong Kong-based satellite and communication companies.

When it comes to encouraging dreams, even small connections can be meaningful.

In October 2003, China's first man in space, Yang Liwei, visited the school and planted a tree, which has since grown tall and strong.

Last year, a delegation of leading aerospace experts and scientists visited Hong Kong and met with students, gave lectures on the development of the national aerospace industry and brought samples collected during China's fifth lunar exploration mission in late 2020 to be exhibited in the city.

Professor Quentin Parker, director of the Laboratory of Space Research at the University of Hong Kong, said the letter campaign has helped boost interest in studying natural sciences among young people in Hong Kong.

For Chen Man-lin though, the future is clear. She has already decided to become a researcher and hopes that one day, she too will be able to contribute to the development of China's aerospace program.

Curtis Lo contributed to this story.

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